For a period of eight days the whole town takes a trip back into the past to re-enact in a truly spectacular way a battle that took place in 1538.
Moors and Christians is Villajoyosa’s most important festival. It’s one that’s been celebrated for over 250 years in honour of Santa Marta, and commemorates events that took place in 1538, when Barbary pirates commanded by Zalé-Arraez tried to attack the town. Tradition has it that Santa Marta came to the aid of the local people, causing a flood that swept the enemy ships out to sea preventing the corsairs from reaching the coast. In thanks, the town took Santa Marta as its patron saint, and each year these celebrations are held in her honour, with the re-enactment of the attack by the Moors as the key event.